Marrakech will be the first Capital of Culture in Africa in 2020

Marrakech will be the first Capital of Culture in Africa in 2020

Marocco Marrakech

Marrakech one of Morocco’s most iconic cities, has been crowned as the first African Capital of Culture 2020. The nomination was awarded to the red city because of its architectural, artistic and cultural legacy. Marrakesh is already home to two Unesco-listed World Heritage sites: the famous square of Djemaa El Fna and its labyrinthine medina, the walled old city.

Marrakesh is increasingly on travellers’ radars, as the government has been doing more to improve infrastructure throughout the country, including revamping a number of medinas. The number of foreign tourists rose about 15% from 2017 to 2018, and Morocco is growing in popularity with travellers from the US.

The 2017 opening of Yves Saint Laurent Museum, dedicated to the eponymous French fashion designer who called Marrakesh home for a number of years, solidified Marrakesh’s place as a hub for art and design.

The program of events for 2020 has not yet been defined. The cultural world of Morocco is in turmoil: the crown of African cultural queen will be an impulse to increase the popularity of a city that can enchant and amaze like few others.

The program of events for 2020 has not yet been defined.

Moroccan artists and journalists are in turmoil: being the cultural capital of Africa will increase the popularity of a city able to enchant and amaze like few others.

RAMADAM KAREEM

RAMADAM KAREEM

Marocco

Ramadan corresponds to the 9th month of the Islamic calendar and its frequency varies from year to year as the calendar is based on the phases of the moon. And it is the month dedicated to “fasting” (sawan), one of the five pillars of Islam

This year, in Morocco, Ramadan starts on May 5th and ends on June 4th

It is a very significant moment: from dawn to sunset all adult Muslims are required to observe abstinence (or fasting) from food, drink, tobacco, sexual activities to focus on their spiritual renewal.

And life transforms and runs in “slow motion”, since fasting is not easy for anyone to bear …

At sunset, after the fourth prayer of the day, we all gather for the iftar, the meal that is consumed to break the fast and which consists of dates, vegetable soup (harira), and chebakia (typical sweets), milk and water at will.

Public services and often even shops apply a reduced time to adapt to these new habits

And the evening becomes the most lively and folkloric moment of the day, when the streets are filled with life, lights, music and sweet temptations at every corner. After an iftar with dates and other tasty foods, people of all ages indulge in some sweet comfort and often party until late.

No foreigners of other religions are required to observe fasting (on the other hand even Muslims on the go are not obliged to do so), but it is good to avoid, out of respect and solidarity, to eat and drink in public in front of other people who practice ‘abstinence.

And it is important to respect the moment of Islamic prayer and of the “breaking of the fast” and to be understanding when guides and drivers, waiters or shopkeepers are absent from their jobs …

This is a particular condition that could cause minor inconvenience to the traveler but can be just as interesting from a sociological point of view. It could also happen, if you enter in particular friendships with a local person who will offer sweets or invite you to a family party. And accepting the invitation honors his home and the spirit of Ramadan, as well as living a new and different experience.

The festival that marks the end of Ramadan is the Eid – in the Fitr and is the second most important festival of the Muslim religion.

The agenda of international Itinerary  of Pope Francesco in 2019 is enriched by a new stage: Morocco

The agenda of international Itinerary of Pope Francesco in 2019 is enriched by a new stage: Morocco

Marocco

On 30 and 31 March,  Pope Francesco visited the city of Rabat, where the Apostolic Nunciature has been located since 1976. This is the second time of a Pontiff in Morocco, after 33 years of John Paul II’s journey in August 1985, at the invitation of the then King Hassan II, with whom he had held in December two years earlier (1983) an exchange of letters on the legal situation of the Catholic Church in Morocco. It is also the second time for a visit by Jorge Mario  Bergoglio to a predominantly North African country, after the one in Egypt in April 2017, the result of the “thaw” between the Vatican and the prestigious Sunni Al-Azhar university. the March 2019 trip – not linked, therefore, to a specific event – therefore represents a new opportunity to strengthen the dialogue between the Catholic Church and Islam and to encourage the small Catholic community: just over 27 thousand faithful, according to statistics, on a population of 34 million inhabitants (about 0.08%). The only stop in Rabat is the royal residence of King Mohammed VI. With the occasion, we want to deepen the peculiarity of Rabat, the amber capital, as a stage of the countless tours that our valid TRANSATOUR correspondent includes in every fascinating tour proposal.

Capital of Morocco,Rabat is considered the symbol of the Country’s immortality. Embraced by miles of amber-colored walls scented with pink and orange hibiscus, the city – elegant and refined – mixes history and modernity. The genesis of the name is linked to the construction in 1150 by the sultan Abd al-Mumin of the fortress on the top of the cliff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, a mosque and residence which in Arabic is called Ribat. Home to the Royal Palace of His Majesty Mohammed VI, which houses the Government of Morocco, Rabat also has the largest university in the country and is full of shops, cinemas, theaters and bookstores. Try to be in Rabat on Thursday and enter the Rue des Consuls where the characteristic and folkloristic carpet auction is held and where you can buy splendid local handicrafts. Then book a visit to the Caffè Maure, a delicious local inside a kashba, to sip between the benches and the blue tables overlooking the sea the typical mint tea and the typical Moroccan sweets made with honey and almonds.

Click to see a nice video on YouTube about the trip of Pope Francesco https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6AxZefaecx8.

Meknès in the top 10 cities in the world to visit in 2019 according to Lonely Planet

Meknès in the top 10 cities in the world to visit in 2019 according to Lonely Planet

Lonely Planet Marocco Meknes

The famous tourist guide Lonely Planet has just published the ranking of the ten cities to visit in 2019, and the imperial city of Meknès is in 10th place.

The warrior sultan who in 1672 moved the capital of Morocco to Meknès would turn in his grave if he knew that today the city receives few visitors compared to Fès and Marrakech. Moulay Ismail sacked the palaces of Marrakech and the Roman ruins of Volubilis to obtain the stone and the marble with which to build the massive fortifications that still enclose the city, the underground warehouses for food supplies and a magnificent bab (door) to even eclipse the Blue Door of Fès. In the heart of the city, the elaborate mausoleum of Ismail is a national treasure, released in 2018 by a two-year restoration, which offers travelers one more reason to visit this underrated city.

A few hours flight from Italy, Marrakech is one of those evergreen destinations where, thanks to the mild climate, you can visit it at any time of the year

A few hours flight from Italy, Marrakech is one of those evergreen destinations where, thanks to the mild climate, you can visit it at any time of the year

Air Arabia Marocco Marrakech

It is one of the four imperial cities of Morocco, together with Fes, Rabat and Meknes, who owe their name to the work of the various dynasties of rulers who, at different times, chose them as their residence, increasing their charm during their reign through important architectural interventions.

Absolutely do not miss a visit to the souq, a large covered market that is divided into countless lanes and squares, each of which is dedicated to specific activities: sellers of skins, wool, boilers, jewelers, dyers and so on.

Be Live Experience Marrakech Palmeraie “and” Be Live Collection Marrakech Adults Only “the two recent openings of the Globalia group represent an excellent choice for the patrons who wish to visit the red city”.

Located in the beautiful and quiet residential area of ​​Palmeraie, the entire complex, a few kilometers from the historic center of Marrakech, retains all its local and magical essence, as well as stunning views of the Atlas Mountains and the Palm Grove of Marrakech

Be Live Collectionis an elegant, 5-star all-inclusive resort, designed exclusively for adults over 16, offering the best atmosphere, golf, sports, spa and wellness. The hotel has 212 units, including 164 superior double rooms, 28 superior double rooms with “Swim Up” and 20 junior suites.

Be Live Experience Marrakech Palmeraie 4-starromantic hotel, ideal for romantic getaways, family vacations, trips with friends or professional groups with a diverse gastronomic offer, entertainment and comfort, designed for the enjoyment of everyone.

With a capacity of 167 units including 110 double rooms, 45 duplex rooms and 12 junior suites, has a swimming pool for adults and children, a Splash pool for small children, Mini club, games rooms for adults and children, a theater, a fitness center, shops, two restaurants and a meeting room.

And for those who have more time and do not want to stop at one stage, but visit the other fascinating Moroccan cities, from June 22, Air Arabia Maroc will introduce four new flights on its domestic network.

The company adds a connection between Nador and Casablanca with two weekly flights on Fridays and Sundays, and from October 28 will connect Dakhla, in the southern province, with Casablanca and Marrakech. The Dakhla-Marrakech flight will operate three days a week: Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Also from 28 October a new line will connect Agadir and Rabat.

Late winter, the perfect time to visit Marrakech among nice weather and new This is the best time to visit Marrakech, as the days begin to be as sunny as our spring and  nights are still cold and heated by the warmth of the charming fires of the fireplaces.

Late winter, the perfect time to visit Marrakech among nice weather and new This is the best time to visit Marrakech, as the days begin to be as sunny as our spring and nights are still cold and heated by the warmth of the charming fires of the fireplaces.

Marocco Marrakech

This is the best time to visit Marrakech, as the days begin to be as sunny as our spring and  nights are still cold and heated by the warmth of the charming fires of the fireplaces. Now that  Christmas holidays are over and number of tourists is diminishing, the Medina and the two new museums, the first in honor of Yves St Laurent and the second the “Museum Mohammed VI of the water civilization in Morocco” are perfect to be explored undisturbed in all their splendor, while low cost flights reach a few hundred euros.

The museum dedicated to Yves Saint Laurent is an impressive structure that aims to become an object of tourist pilgrimage not only for fashion lovers.

Opened immediately after the inauguration of the first Parisian museum dedicated to the famous couturier, it opened its doors in Marrakech last October 2017, the city beloved by the designer who used to spend his holidays here. Both museums were strongly desired by Pierre Bergé, partner and associate of Saint Laurent, who recently passed away. The museum consists of an area of ​​4,000 square meters, which includes a permanent exhibition area, a gallery for temporary exhibitions, a library, an auditorium, a bookshop and a cafeteria. The new museum, located not far from the Jardin Majorelle where the designer’s villa is located, was designed by the architects of the KO studio under the supervision of the Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent Foundation. The exterior looks like a set of jagged cubes that remind the texture of a fabric. The interior is, instead, deliberately smooth, bare, luminous almost as if it were really inside and outside a dress. The museum hosts a permanent collection of 5,000 dresses, 15,000 haute couture accessories  high fashion designs.

The series of inaugurations last year continued in Marrakech with the official opening of the Mohammed VI Museum of Water Civilization in Morocco. This project aims to “introduce the Moroccan genius in the management of water and to make known the historical role of administration in water”.

The museum complex occupies an area of ​​20,000 m² with indoor and outdoor spaces. The building houses exhibitions, spaces for temporary exhibitions, sales for professional training, computer sales and an administrative pavilion.

In addition to the green spaces surrounding the museum, a park with water-related facilities will be built in the near future, near the building.

Included by National Geographic in the list of cities to be visited in 2018: Tétouan, the white city of Rif

Included by National Geographic in the list of cities to be visited in 2018: Tétouan, the white city of Rif

Marocco National Geographic

A city jewel in an extraordinary position at the foot of the Rif Mountains and few kilometers from the sea. Despite having seen relatively few foreign visitors, in Tétouan there is an air of authenticity that adds great value to a visit. The ancient Medina, UNESCO world heritage site, the oldest in Morocco and rebuilt in the 15th century, it seems that it has not changed in several centuries. The modern center that inhabits it shines with white, its Spanish facades give the city a decidedly seductive atmosphere. Why a stay in Tétouan is not to be missed at this time of year? For example to discover Moroccan contemporary art. In this extraordinary city port, local craftsmen still create traditional carpets, but a new movement of fine arts attracts new talents. A must is a stop at the National Institute of Fine Arts to admire some examples of contemporary works, the Museum of Modern Art of Tétouan and Green Olive Arts. This is all possible through our correspondent Transatour with various offices in the most important cities of Morocco. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/features/best-trips-destinations-2018/#cover